2008 Week 15 NFL Power Rankings
(Dated: December 9 - 14, 2008)
1. Tennessee Titans (12-1) – The Tennessee Titans wrapped up at least a share of the AFC South title with a 28-9 win over the Cleveland Browns. The win was the Titans 12th on the year, three full games ahead of second place Indianapolis. In the win, the Titans defense limited the Browns offense to just three field goals, allowing just 178 yards of total offense. Running backs Chris Johnson and LenDale White ran 133 and 99 yards a piece for the Titans. The win for Tennessee helped them move ahead of the Giants in the power rankings. The Titans will finish the season with the Texans in Houston on Sunday, host the Steelers on December 21st, and travel to Indianapolis on December 28th.
2. New York Giants (11-2) – The Giants had a chance to clinch at least a share of the NFC East on Sunday, but failed in doing so; 20-14 to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants still lead the East, ahead of Dallas, Washington and Philadelphia. The loss for the Giants drops them from # 1 to # 2 in the power rankings. On the year, the Giants have allowed just 226 points, while scoring 366 points on offense. The Giants are 6-1 at home, and 5-1 on the road this season. New York can clinch a tie on Sunday when they travel to Dallas for a Sunday night game with the Cowboys. The Giants will then host Carolina and finish the season on the road in Minnesota.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3) – The Steelers picked up their fourth straight win on Sunday, coming from behind to defeat the Dallas Cowboys 20-13. The win moves the Steelers at the # 3 position in the power rankings. The Steelers defense caused Dallas to turn the ball over five times, the second straight game in which Pittsburgh forced five turnovers. Pittsburgh will play their next two games on the road, in an AFC North battle at Baltimore, and then at Tennessee. The Steelers and Browns will finish the 2008 regular season in Pittsburgh on December 28th.
4. Carolina Panthers (10-3) – The Panthers gained control of the NFC South with their Monday Night win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The win for Carolina was their 10th on the season. The Panthers hold their own destiny as far as home field advantage in their own hands, with Denver, at New York Giants and at New Orleans remaining. If Carolina can win all three games, they will be the # 1 seed in the NFC Playoffs. In the win over Tampa Bay, the two headed running back monster of DeAngelo Williams and Johnathon Stewart ran for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Carolina, with the win jumps Tampa Bay in the power rankings at the # 4 spot.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-4) – Despite getting beat on Monday Night, the Buccaneers fall just two spots from # 3 to # 5. With the loss, Tampa Bay falls one game back of the Panthers in the NFC South. Carolina’s two-headed running back monster, DeAngelo Williams and Johnathon Stewart ran for 300 yards, and four touchdowns in the win for the Panthers. The Buccaneers and Panthers are the only two teams in the NFL that are undefeated at home on the year. At home is where Tampa Bay will play their final two games of the season. Before that, Tampa Bay will invade Atlanta to take on another NFC South rival. The final two games of the year will be against San Diego and Oakland on December 21st and 28th.
6. Indianapolis Colts (9-4) – The Colts picked up their sixth straight win on Sunday; a 35-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. The win keeps the Colts at # 6 in the rankings. Indianapolis is three games back of the AFC South leading Tennessee Titans, but the Colts are currently in the lead for the final AFC wildcard position. In the win on Sunday, Peyton Manning threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns. On the night, Manning’s completion percent rate was 81.3. The Colts will take on the winless Detroit Lions, and then turn around and play Thursday night at Jacksonville. The Colts will finish the season at home with the Tennessee Titans.
7. Baltimore Ravens (9-4) – The Ravens picked up their ninth win of the season on Sunday and keeping pace with the AFC North leading Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens, with their win moved up from # 7 from # 10. Baltimore is currently tied with Indianapolis for the fifth and sixth playoff position in the AFC. Baltimore has scored 316 points, and allowed just 200 on the season. The Steelers will look to tie first place Pittsburgh with a home game on Sunday. Baltimore will then travel to Dallas for a Saturday night game, before finishing the season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, at home.
8. New York Jets (8-5) – The Jets, for the second straight week were knocked off, causing a three-way tie atop the AFC East. The Jets fell 24-14 at 5-8 San Francisco. In the loss, quarterback Brett Favre was able to throw for just 137 yards and running back Thomas Jones picked up just 56 rushing yards. The Jets are now 8-5 and tied with New England and Miami atop the AFC East. On the year, New York has scored 354 points and allowed 292. The Jets are 4-2 at home, and 4-3 when playing on the road. The Jets will host inter divisional foe Buffalo on Sunday, and then travel to Seattle on December 21st, before finishing the year with the Miami Dolphins.
9. Atlanta Falcons (8-5) – The Atlanta Falcons punted the ball away with 3:30 to go in the game Sunday, hoping to get the ball back and a chance to come from behind. That did not happen, as the New Orleans Saints picked up enough yards to put the game away; winning 29-25. The loss for Atlanta dropped them to 8-5 on the year and tied for the final playoff spot. Atlanta is currently on the outside looking in due to the tiebreaker. Atlanta, with the loss falls from # 8 to # 9. The Falcons will host divisional rival Tampa Bay on Sunday, followed by a road game at Minnesota, and then a home game with the Rams.
10. Arizona Cardinals (8-5) – The Arizona Cardinals clinched at least a tie of the NFC West title on Sunday. In the 34-10 win over the St. Louis Rams, Kurt Warner continued his assault on a possible MVP, throwing for 279 yards and a touchdown. The Cardinals move back into the Top Ten; at #10. Arizona is 8-5 on the year; three games ahead of second place San Francisco. The Cardinals 372 points scored ranks them tops in the National Football League. The Cardinals will look to clinch the outright title on Sunday when they host the Minnesota Vikings. In the following week, Arizona will play at New England and then finish the year hosting Seattle on December 28th.
11. Dallas Cowboys (8-5) – Dallas could not hold onto a ten-point lead in the fourth quarter on Sunday, falling 20-13 to Pittsburgh. The loss for the Cowboys drops them to 8-5; three games back of the New York Giants in the NFC East. Dallas, despite the loss currently holds the final NFC Wildcard position over Atlanta. The loss for Dallas drops them from # 9 to # 11. In the loss on Sunday, quarterback Tony Romo threw for 210 yards and a touchdown, but was marred by his three interceptions thrown, and also a fumble lost. Dallas will play their next two games at home; Sunday with the Giants, then on Saturday December 20th with Baltimore, before a December 28th season finale at Philadelphia.
12. New England Patriots (8-5) – The New England Patriots needed 11 fourth quarter points to down the Seattle Seahawks 24-21 on Sunday. The win for New England allowed them to move into a three-way tie atop the AFC East. The Patriots remain at # 12 in the Power Rankings. In the win on Sunday quarterback Matt Cassell threw for 268 yards and a touchdown. Wes Welker caught 12 passes for 134 yards for the Patriots as well. New England will play at Oakland on Sunday, then host the Arizona Cardinals on December 21st, and finish the season at Buffalo on December 28th.
13. Minnesota Vikings (8-5) – The Minnesota Vikings remain one full game ahead of the Chicago Bears on Sunday with a 20-16 win over the winless Detroit Lions. The win keeps the Vikings at # 13 in the power rankings. Minnesota needed a 10-3 fourth quarter to put the pesky Lions away. Adrian Peterson ran for 102 yards in the win. Minnesota at 8-5 is one game ahead of Chicago 7-6, and three ahead of Green Bay 5-8. On the year, Minnesota has scored 307 points and allowed 276. The Vikings will travel to Arizona on Sunday, before finishing the regular season with two home games; Atlanta and the New York Giants.
14. New Orleans Saints (7-6) – The Saints kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Sunday knocking off divisional rival Atlanta 29-25. The win for the Saints moved them up one spot from # 15 to # 14. In the win on Sunday, Reggie Bush came back from his injury picking up a touchdown on 106 total yards. Pierre Thomas led the New Orleans ground game with 102 rushing yards and a touchdown. Drew Brees completed 18 of 32 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns. The Saints moved to within a game back of Atlanta in the NFC South, still trailing divisional leader Carolina by two games, and Tampa Bay by one. The Saints will play a road game on Thursday night in Chicago, and then the following week heading to Detroit on Sunday. New Orleans and Carolina will finish the regular season battling each other in New Orleans.
15. Miami Dolphins (8-5) – The Miami Dolphins won their eighth game of the season on Sunday; a 16-3 win over the Buffalo Bills. The win for Miami put them into a three-way tie atop the AFC East. The Jets, Patriots and Dolphins are all at 8-5 on the season. Miami moves up from # 16 to # 15 in the power rankings. The Dolphins have scored 269 points on the season, and allowed 260. Running back Ronnie Brown has run the ball 169 times for 690 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season. The Dolphins will play their last home game of the season on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. The following two Sunday’s Miami will travel to Kansas City and then New York, to face the Jets.
16. Denver Broncos (8-5) – Denver clinched at least a share of the AFC West title with a 24-17 win over inter divisional opponent Kansas City on Sunday. The Broncos now just need one more win to be guaranteed a playoff position. The Broncos, with the win move up one spot from # 17 to # 16. In Sunday’s win, Jay Cutler threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns, with both of them to receiver Brandon Marshall. Marshall ended the game with 91 yards and those two touchdowns. The Broncos defense limited the Kansas City running game to just 83 total rushing yards. Denver will have a tough task on Sunday as they travel to the Carolina Panthers. On December 21st the Broncos will host the Buffalo Bills, then the final Sunday of the season (December 28th) the Broncos will travel to San Diego to face the Chargers.
17. Washington Redskins (7-6) – The Washington Redskins fell on Sunday night to Baltimore to drop to 7-6 on the year. The loss for the Redskins cost them three spots in the power rankings falling from # 14 to # 17. In the loss, Washington gave up 14 quick points, on a Le’Ron Mcclain run, followed by an Ed Reed fumble return. In the loss quarterback Jason Campbell was intercepted twice, and top running back Clinton Portis was only able to pick up 32 yards. The loss for Washington sends them to the bottom of the NFC East, ½ game behind Philadelphia, and a game behind second place Dallas. The Redskins will finish the season at Cincinnati Sunday, with the Eagles on the 21st and at San Francisco on December 28th.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (7-5-1) – The Philadelphia Eagles knocked off the NFC East leading New York Giants on Sunday; 20-14. The win kept the Eagles at # 18. In the win, quarterback Donovan McNabb threw for 191 yards and a touchdown, and running back Brian Westbrook ran for 131 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles defense held the New York offense to just 88 rushing yards in the win. Philadelphia is now 7-5-1 on the season, and on the outside looking in for the final playoff spot. The Eagles will host Cleveland on Monday Night football this week, and then travel to the nation’s capital on December 21 to take on the Redskins. Philadelphia and Dallas will play on the last Sunday of the regular season, with a possibly playoff berth on the line.
19. Chicago Bears (7-6) – The Bears remained just a game behind the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North race. Chicago picked up a 23-10 win, led by 10 quick first quarter points, and 10 more in the second quarter. Kyle Orton threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns, and Matt Forte’s 106 all purpose yards helped the Bears cause. Chicago has scored 304 points on the year, allowing 278. The Bears remain at # 19 in the power rankings. The Bears will play their second of three straight home games on Thursday night this week, as the New Orleans Saints come to town. The following week, the Bears will play a Monday Night game with rival Green Bay Packers. The last Sunday of the season, Chicago will travel to Houston to take on the Texans.
20. Houston Texans (6-7) – After starting the season 0-4, the Houston Texans have won six of their last nine, to move to 6-7 overall. The latest, a 24-21 win over the Green Bay Packers moved them up two spots from # 22 to # 20. The win was capped off by a Kris Brown 40 yard field goal on the final play of the game. Quarterback Matt Schaub threw for 414 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Schaub had missed the last four games due to an injury. The Texans still have very slim playoff chances at 6-7, but would need to win the remainder of their games, and get a lot of help inside the AFC. The Texans will host the division leading Tennessee Titans on Sunday, then travel to Oakland on December 21st, before finishing the year at home, taking on the Chicago Bears.
21. San Diego Chargers (5-8) – The San Diego Chargers kept their very slim playoff hopes alive with a 34-7 win Thursday night over Oakland. The Chargers must win their final three games, and hope Denver falls in all three. With the Thursday night win, San Diego moves up two spots from # 23 to # 21. In the win, Phillip Rivers threw for 214 yards, with Vincent Jackson picking up 148 yards and a touchdown. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 91 yards in the win. On the year Tomlinson has ran for 885 yards and seven touchdowns. The Chargers have scored 324 points on year, and allowed 281. San Diego will play at Kansas City on Sunday, at Tampa Bay the following week, and then finish the season at home against the Broncos.
22. San Francisco 49ers (5-8) – Suddenly, the San Francisco 49ers appear to be one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight, and three of their last four, San Francisco continues to fight to climb to .500. With the 24-14 upset win over the New York Jets, the 49ers advanced to 5-8 overall, and up two spots from # 24 to # 22. In the win on Sunday quarterback Shaun Hill threw for 285 yards, with 70 of them to receiver Issac Bruce. The 49ers defense held the high-powered Jets offense to just 14 points on the game. San Francisco will travel to Miami and St. Louis the next two Sunday’s, and then finish the season on December 28th with Washington.
23. Buffalo Bills (6-7) – The Buffalo Bills playoff chances may have went down the drain on Sunday afternoon. Unable to get into the end zone for the second straight game, the Bills were downed 16-3 by divisional rival Miami. The loss sends Buffalo to 6-7 overall, and in last place by two full games in the AFC East. The loss for Buffalo also drops them from # 20 to # 23 in the power rankings. On the season, Buffalo has scored 279 points and allowed 275. The Bills will play their next two games on the road, starting Sunday in a must win game against division co-leader New York Jets. The following week, Buffalo will travel to AFC West leading Denver, and then will finish the season on December 28th against the Patriots.
24. Green Bay Packers (5-8) – The Green Bay Packers may have essentially knocked themselves out of playoff contention on Sunday. Falling 24-21 to Houston, the Packers dropped to 5-8 overall, and three games back of division leading Minnesota, and two back of Chicago. The loss sends Green Bay back from # 21 to # 24. Despite losing, the Packers defense forced the Houston offense to turn the ball over four times, including three fumbles lost. Aaron Rodgers threw for 295 yards in the loss, with two touchdowns and an interception. Green Bay will have three games remaining, as they must win them all to finish at .500 for the season. That will start on Sunday when they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road. The following week the Packers will invade Chicago for a Monday Night affair, and then Green Bay will conclude the season on December 28th with the Detroit Lions.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9) – The Jacksonville Jaguars remain at # 25 in the power rankings after losing their fourth straight game on Sunday. In the 23-10 loss to the Bears, the Jaguars got 178 passing yards from quarterback David Garrard, along with a touchdown and an interception. Jacksonville remains in last place in the AFC South, trailing Houston, Indianapolis and front running Tennessee. On the year the Jaguars are being outscored 293 – 251. Jacksonville is 1-5 in home games this season, and 3-4 when playing on the road. The Jaguars next two games will be at home, as they host the Packers on Sunday, then a Thursday night game with the Colts, before finishing the season at Baltimore.
26. Cleveland Browns (4-9) – The Browns struggles continued on Sunday, scoring just nine points in a 28-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans. The loss was the third straight and fifth in six game, dropping Cleveland to 4-9 overall. The Browns remain at # 26, with teams below them falling as well. The Browns have scored just 222 points on the year, and allowed 275. Cleveland is in third place in the AFC North, ahead of just state rival Cincinnati. Top receiver Braylon Edwards has caught just three touchdown passes on the season for the Browns. Cleveland will travel to Philadelphia on Monday night, and then host Cincinnati, before finishing the year on December 28th in Pittsburgh.
27. Kansas City Chiefs (2-11) – The Chiefs led the Denver Broncos on Sunday 17-14 at halftime, but were outscored 10-0 in the second half, falling in defeat 24-17. The win for Denver clinched at least a share of the AFC West title. The loss for Kansas City keeps them at # 27. In the loss for the Chiefs, quarterback Tyler Thigpen threw for 187 yards and a touchdown, while running back Larry Johnson ran for just 36 yards. The Chiefs defense allowed the Broncos to pick up a total of 425 yards. The Chiefs will host the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, host the Dolphins the following week, and then close their season out at December 28th against the Cincinnati Bengals.
28. Oakland Raiders (3-10) – The Oakland Raiders were 34-7 victims of the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night. The loss for Oakland dropped them to 3-10 on the season, two games back of second place San Diego, and just a full game ahead of last place Kansas City. The loss keeps Oakland at # 28. On the year, the Raiders have scored just 179 points, which ranks them ahead of just St. Louis and Cincinnati. Defensively, the Raiders have allowed 299 points. The Raiders will host New England and Houston in the next two weeks, before completing the season on December 28th at Tampa Bay.
29. Cincinnati Bengals (1-11-1) – The Cincinnati Bengals were only able to score three points in their 35-3 loss to the Colts on Sunday. That is the second straight game in which Cincinnati was only able to muster three points. The loss keeps the Bengals at the # 29 position within the power rankings. Cincinnati is 1-11-1 on the season, and in last place in the AFC North. On the year the Bengals have only scored 154 points, which ranks them last in the entire NFL. The Bengals will host the Washington Redskins on Sunday, and finish the year with a trip to Cleveland, and then a home game with the Kansas City Chiefs on December 28th.
30. Seattle Seahawks (2-11) – The Seattle Seahawks put up a great effort on Sunday, but fell short; 24-21 to the New England Patriots. The loss was the sixth straight for Seattle. With the loss, the Seahawks will remain at # 30. Seattle is 2-11 on the year, in a tie with the St. Louis Rams in last place in the NFC West. In the loss on Sunday, Seneca Wallace, Seattle’s quarterback threw three touchdowns, and 212 yards. Wallace also ran for 47 yards. Seattle’s three remaining games will be Sunday at St. Louis, December 21 with the New York Jets, and then they fill complete the season on December 28th at divisional winner Arizona Cardinals.
31. St. Louis Rams (2-11) – The Rams fell for the seventh straight time on Sunday, this time a 34-10 decision to the Arizona Cardinals. The loss keeps the Rams at # 31 in the power rankings. In the loss, running back Stephen Jackson fumbled twice, and ran for just 64 yard in the game. The Rams allowed the Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner to throw for 279 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. The Rams on the year have been outscored 394 – 169. The Rams will host Seattle on Sunday, before hosting the 49ers on December 21st, and finishing the season December 28th at Atlanta.
32. Detroit Lions (0-13) – The Lions fought hard with the NFC North leading Vikings, but fell short 20-16 on Sunday. The loss dropped Detroit to 0-13 on the season, and kept them at # 32 in the power rankings. In the loss, the Lions gained just 76 yards rushing, and allowed 130, with 102 of those going to star Adrian Peterson. Detroit led 6-3 at halftime and 13-10 after three quarters, but was outscored 10-3 in the final quarter. Detroit on the year has been outscored 413 – 219. The Lions will have a tough test on Sunday as they travel to the red hot 9-4 Indianapolis Colts, before hosting the Saints on December 21st and finishing the season on December 28th at Green Bay.